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Bakker XXII: All Aboard the Damnation Express


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#1 Sci-2

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:21 PM

eta:

 

Happy Ent's intro:

 

"This is the perpetual thread devoted to the works of R. Scott Bakker, primarily the books in the Second Apocalypse series, the first of which is The Darkness that Comes Before

 

The current publication status is 5 volumes of novels, including The White-Luck Warrior, as well as 2 short stories, in particular The False Sun . This thread contains spoilers for these publications.

 

Since Bakker’s writing uses layers of revelation, newcomers are strongly advised to finish the books before coming here; otherwise the spoilers will rot your soul. Eternally.

 

Most denizens of this thread have also read Bakker’s non-fantasy novels Neuropath and Disciple of the Dog, but the spoiler policy is unclear. You are advised to hide crucial plot points in those novels."

 

=-=-=

 

How do the Inchoroi even know that it's the rape that got them damned by the way?

 

Well, we don't even know if you can avoid damnation, though it's interesting that the Inchies have apparently figured out what damned them.

 

How does a post-Singularity civilization come to understand the morality either enforced by the gods or written into reality itself?


Edited by Sci-2, 14 January 2014 - 07:23 PM.


#2 Ru´ner

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:47 PM

Murder damns you- Mimara sees Kosoter with the Judging Eye and sees the fact of his damnation. There is no suggestion of rape, merely murder and cruelty. In fact it may be murder that is the ultimate act of damnation.

 

I can't remember the details, did she make it clear that it's the murder that damned him? (and was it actually Kosoter that she looked at?) Because I'm pretty sure that Kosoter -and possibly everyone with him- have raped at least a few women back in the day, remember all the I get to go first on peaches...

 

It's interesting that before Galian tries to rape her, Mimara forgives him and thinks that she has freed him of his "fatal sin" (rape?). Does this mean that she thinks she has freed him of his damnation simply by forgiving him? And if so is this something that she only presumes or did she actually see with her JE that he isn't damned anymore?



#3 Gaston de Foix

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:52 PM

 

I can't remember the details, did she make it clear that it's the murder that damned him? (and was it actually Kosoter that she looked at?) Because I'm pretty sure that Kosoter -and possibly everyone with him- have raped at least a few women back in the day, remember all the I get to go first on peaches...

 

It's interesting that before Galian tries to rape her, Mimara forgives him and thinks that she has freed him of his "fatal sin" (rape?). Does this mean that she thinks she has freed him of his damnation simply by forgiving him? And if so is this something that she only presumes or did she actually see with her JE that he isn't damned anymore?

 

She saw the murders in Kosoter and cruelty- no mention of rape. So I assume murders suffices. 

 

with Galian I recollect it as "final sin" not "fatal sin" - she remembers him already irredeemably damned. Her forgiveness is largely symbolic in my view. 

 

Quick question: what does the word "goad" mean in the False Sun? I know the ordinary english meaning but it seems to mean something more.



#4 unJon

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:03 PM

I'm no sure "boundaries of skin" has to mean rape. Could mean not treating other ensouled beings bound in the skin as anything meaningful in the Inchoroi quest for eternal hedonism. To me that's much more general. The basic problem being treating people as objects or as Kant would put it "a means and not an end."

Re: goad. I take it to mean something that causes one to take action. The IF goads those who view it into fighting damnation by any means necessary.

#5 Gaston de Foix

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:16 PM

I'm no sure "boundaries of skin" has to mean rape. 

I think it means any physical harm caused by direct contact. Does intent matter?



#6 Hello World

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:22 PM

I'm no sure "boundaries of skin" has to mean rape. Could mean not treating other ensouled beings bound in the skin as anything meaningful in the Inchoroi quest for eternal hedonism.

 

I agree this is a better interpretation. It could also mean that they are damned because they violated their own skin by modifying their bodies. If that's true and the generation of Aurang and Co. was born after those genetic modifications then they were literally "born into damnation" as he says.



#7 Sci-2

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:25 PM

I agree this is a better interpretation. It could also mean that they are damned because they violated their own skin by modifying their bodies. If that's true and the generation of Aurang and Co. was born after those genetic modifications then they were literally "born into damnation" as he says.

 

I think Aurang specifically notes he's talking about sexual encounters and not genetic modification. Now he may be wrong, but I think his belief regarding his own damnation is clear.

 

Of course, how a scientifically advanced civilization not only manages to discover its damnation, but also the specific reasoning, is questionable. [Which is part of why I doubt the Inverse Fire's accuracy....but then I also doubt the Judging Eye so maybe doubting is just my jam.]


Edited by Sci-2, 14 January 2014 - 08:27 PM.


#8 Hello World

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:09 PM


I think Aurang specifically notes he's talking about sexual encounters and not genetic modification. Now he may be wrong, but I think his belief regarding his own damnation is clear.

 

Not necessarily, he probably meant rape in that case but the general issue with damnation is the violation of the boundaries of ensouled beings, whether it be rape, murder, or even modification. It's easier to imagine how they would arrive at that conclusion rather than rape specifically.

 

The IF I think is a device similar to that in Neuropath, it stimulates the fear and pain centers of your brain. That does not mean it necessarily shows one's damnation.

 

Although that is something I did not quite get from Neuropath and I would appreciate it if someone could help me out here,

 

Spoiler

Edited by Hello World, 14 January 2014 - 09:12 PM.


#9 Sci-2

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:22 PM

Although that is something I did not quite get from Neuropath and I would appreciate it if someone could help me out here,

 

Spoiler

 

Spoiler


#10 Hello World

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:35 PM

Spoiler

 

Damn. He says that on the next page actually... Probably missed it because I couldn't help but speed read after the first few chapters.



#11 larryck the cleric

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:41 PM

 

I think Aurang specifically notes he's talking about sexual encounters and not genetic modification. Now he may be wrong, but I think his belief regarding his own damnation is clear.

 

Of course, how a scientifically advanced civilization not only manages to discover its damnation, but also the specific reasoning, is questionable. [Which is part of why I doubt the Inverse Fire's accuracy....but then I also doubt the Judging Eye so maybe doubting is just my jam.]

 

 

That's Ajencis right?  From one of his lesser known mix-tapes before he was signed to a major label?


Edited by larrytheimp, 14 January 2014 - 09:41 PM.


#12 Ru´ner

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:58 PM

She saw the murders in Kosoter and cruelty- no mention of rape. So I assume murders suffices. 
 
with Galian I recollect it as "final sin" not "fatal sin" - she remembers him already irredeemably damned. Her forgiveness is largely symbolic in my view.

 
Yeah, final not fatal. But I think the fact that she calls it a sin shows that a person can be damned for it, in addition to murder as you said.

#13 Gaston de Foix

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:58 PM

Past threads re-read etc

 

Now that I've finished my re-reads and read the short stories a couple of times, I am planning to read some of the old threads here and elsewhere discussing the books. Does anyone have any advice on how to best go about it? I assume Westeros and the second Apocalypse are the most fertile discussion grounds? 

 

Is there a comprehensive index of what Bakker has said about the books? (kind of like so spake martin?) 

 

Finally, the excerpts on the second Apocalypse forum are the only available ones from TUC? Is there something elsewhere?



#14 Ru´ner

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 10:00 PM

There is a thread on SA called collected sayings of Cujara Cinmoi or something like that that supposedly has everything that Bakker said on the TSF.

#15 Hello World

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 10:53 PM

There is a thread on SA called collected sayings of Cujara Cinmoi or something like that that supposedly has everything that Bakker said on the TSF.

 

Add to that that when I asked him how to say merry christmas in Kuniuric he said "They haven't managed to kill their messiah quite yet... : )"

 

A joke obviously but I took it as foreshadowing of Kellhus's killing by the only person from Kuniuri left... Seswatha (through Achamian).

 

The WLW I think is not someone who has an actual body, he manifests the way Yatwer did using a corpse or a living being. Which is how I think he killed Maithanet using Esmi's assassin.

 

So... (Crackpot) Seswatha will kill Kellhus through Akka, thus fulfilling the Celmomian prophecy ("The end of the world is your burden, Seswatha."). But it will actually be the WLW because Achamian can't kill Kellhus without some White Luck. (Just like he killed Maitha through Esmi using her assassin.)



#16 Madness

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:58 PM



Past threads re-read etc

 

Now that I've finished my re-reads and read the short stories a couple of times, I am planning to read some of the old threads here and elsewhere discussing the books. Does anyone have any advice on how to best go about it? I assume Westeros and the second Apocalypse are the most fertile discussion grounds? 

 

Is there a comprehensive index of what Bakker has said about the books? (kind of like so spake martin?) 

 

Finally, the excerpts on the second Apocalypse forum are the only available ones from TUC? Is there something elsewhere?

 

The Ch. 1 Excerpt and Wilshire's Summary of a Ch. 3 Excerpt Reading are the only two pieces of TUC available on the intraweb.

 



There is a thread on SA called collected sayings of Cujara Cinmoi or something like that that supposedly has everything that Bakker said on the TSF.

 

This thread, The Curated Sayings of Cu'jara Cinmoi, is kind of like a comprehensive index of Bakker's aphorisms from TPB and relevancies Bakker has written from the Zombie Three-Seas forum (specifically, Curethan's collection). It's certainly not everything.

 

However, you can read almost the entirety of Cu'jara Cinmoi's posts, out of context, here.

 

Cheers again Sovin Nai (aengelas on SA) for resurrecting Zombie Three Seas as a monument.


Edited by Madness, 14 January 2014 - 11:59 PM.


#17 Ru´ner

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 12:04 AM

This thread, The Curated Sayings of Cu'jara Cinmoi, is kind of like a comprehensive index of Bakker's aphorisms from TPB and relevancies Bakker has written from the Zombie Three-Seas forum (specifically, Curethan's collection). It's certainly not everything.
 
However, you can read almost the entirety of Cu'jara Cinmoi's posts, out of context, here.

 

Thanks.

 

Hmm... 28 pages of material to go through.



#18 Francis Buck

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 01:56 AM

 

I think Aurang specifically notes he's talking about sexual encounters and not genetic modification. Now he may be wrong, but I think his belief regarding his own damnation is clear.

 

Of course, how a scientifically advanced civilization not only manages to discover its damnation, but also the specific reasoning, is questionable. [Which is part of why I doubt the Inverse Fire's accuracy....but then I also doubt the Judging Eye so maybe doubting is just my jam.]

 

But how does that make the IF seem false? To me it makes it all the more likely. The Inchoroi peered ever deeper into the fabric of the World until they tore it apart, inadvertently creating the Inverse Fire, which showed them the truth of their Damnation. It did not show them why they were Damned -- all of that is inference (and mostly quite logical on the part of the Inchoroi, really). That's what drove them to their xenocidal rampage across the universe, trying to find the Special Place where shit actually mattered (Earwa). The idea that it's just some "goad" doesn't really fit in for me. What's the goad? All it does is reveal how bad Damnation actually is, to the point that it psychologically scars someone enough that they will do ANYTHING to avoid it. In the Inchoroi's case, they're already irrevocably Damned. It's part of their nature. They happened to be one of countless ensouled (sentient) beings that evolved on a planet that wasn't Earwa (the one place in the universe where subjectivity can override reality, and thus sorcery), and so they had no way of redemption. That's why Earwa is special. The Gods are anthropomorphic, not because humans are special, but because whatever sentient race dominates Earwa also determines what the nature of the Outside is. Thus the quotes about the Outside being a reflection of the World (a.k.a. Earwa). Thus the motivation for wiping out the population of said planet until the dominant noosphere no longer is dictated by primitve human ideologies. Earwa, to me, is a sort of lynchpin between the Universe and the Outside. It's the point where the two meet. That's why the Gods only care about acquiring the favor of Earwan souls -- and thus they make efforts to keep them reverent and worshiping (sending prophets like Inri, for example -- afterall, the Tusk was a falsehood by the Inchoroi, and so the Gods needed to send a Latter Prophet to set things straight).

 

Within that context, the IF being total bullshit just seems very...I don't know, pointlessly misleading. If the IF is false, then what's the truth? Is Damnation not as shitty as expected? I mean, the themes of the entire series kinda rest on this conceit. It's like one of the major points of the series to me; that an objectively-true anthropomorphic religion is inherently harmful to everything non-anthropomorphic.

 

I've said this before, but I honestly think the series makes a lot more sense when you look at it from the perspective of Bakker being a religiously raised child that got all intellectual and rebellious in his teenage years and tried to turn everything on its head (which, for someone like me, is very relatable, even though my actual upbringing was only mildly religious). He's challenging these long-held -- and clearly flawed -- ideas of Abrahamic religions, on a number of levels.

 

Like I've said in other posts: What if Christianity was in some form true, but Jesus (Inri) was only sent to Earth? What happens to all of those other sentient beings in the universe that never even know such a moral system exists, let alone those who are fundamentally, biologically opposed to it, because they evolved that way out of their control, like the Inchoroi?



#19 Social Justice Darkstar

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 02:13 AM

I really hope that damnation isn't subjective. What a copout if that turns out to be the case.

#20 Francis Buck

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 02:56 AM

I really hope that damnation isn't subjective. What a copout if that turns out to be the case.

 

What do you mean? The rules of Damnation are clearly anthropomorphic. That's the entire conflict between the Inchoroi and humans. If the rules of Damnation are anthropomorphic, that means one of two things to me: The Rules of the Universe are inherently anthropomorphic, and humans just fit into that mold for some reason, or Earwa is special, and whatever ensouled being dominates that world is the one who dictates the nature of Damnation and the Universe. I think the latter explanation makes far, far more sense, for all the reasons listed above.

 

I'm curious why you think Damnation being subjective in some way is a "cop out". I don't even get what that means. The whole point, to me, is that objective morality is inherently nonsensical in Earwa. That's why the Inchoroi fight against it.